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The Battle Creek Enquirer

Scouting Report: No. 8 Harper Creek faces Hastings with first place on the line

By Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer,


BATTLE CREEK - Scouting reports for all the key high school football games in the Battle Creek readership area for Week 5:

Battle Creek Central (0-4) at Mattawan (1-3), 7 p.m. Friday

Scouting Report : Mattawan will host Battle Creek Central after the Wildcats have lost two straight in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference play, including a 41-14 defeat to Portage Central last week. Mattawan was 3-6 a year ago, including a 20-17 loss to Battle Creek Central. The Wildcats haven't had an overall winning record since 2017. BCC is on the road after playing three straight home games. The Bearcats are still looking for their first win. BCC came out of its Friday night loss banged up, suffering injuries throughout the lineup. The Bearcats currently have just two defensive backs healthy and will look to fill in some holes before facing Mattawan.

Great Gridder: Charles Sims caught a touchdown pass in BCC's loss to Stevensville-Lakeshore.


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Lakeview (0-4) at Portage Northern (4-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Scouting Report : In search of its first win , Lakeview goes on the road to face, arguably, the most talented team in the conference in Portage Northern. Portage Northern has climbed to No. 7 in the state in Division 2. The Huskies have several college prospects on their roster, including sophomore offensive lineman Gregory Patrick, who is being recruited by Michigan State University and Oklahoma. Also getting noticed is senior receiver Jadyn Walker, who has an offer from Arizona State. A loaded squad, Portage Northern returned 19 of 22 starters on both sides of the ball, coming into the season. Portage Northern has allowed only 10 points per game this season, including a 40-0 shutout win over BCC. The Spartans lost a high-scoring contest a year ago to Portage Northern, 49-41, and are 1-2 against the Huskies in the last three meetings, including a playoff defeat in 2020.

Great Gridder: Senior running back Zach Kucharczyk had a 33-yard scoring run in the first quarter and then scored twice in the second quarter, including a 75-yard scoring scamper in a loss to St. Joseph, finishing with 194 yards rushing.

Harper Creek (4-0) at Hastings (2-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Scouting Report : Hastings comes in as the defending champ in the Interstate 8 Conference, but is only 2-2 this season. The 2-2 Saxons record is a bit deceiving as Hastings lost to state powers Notre Dame Prep and Whitehall, both undefeated. Hastings was 10-2 a year ago and a district champ, including a 52-6 win over the Beavers in the regular season. The Saxons opened league play with a 52-7 win over Coldwater and have a strong running game as running back Haiden Simmet scored four times against the Cardinals and had 107 yards rushing on just three carries. Harper Creek is now ranked No. 8 in the state in Division 3 and has scored 50 or more points in the last two games and is averaging nearly 40 points a contest overall. The Beavers last win over Hastings came in 2018, going 0-3 since then and getting outscored 134-48 in those games.

Great Gridder: Tyler Wieseler scored two touchdowns and added 81 yards on the ground in a 50-0 win over Marshall.

Pennfield (1-3) at Marshall (1-3), 7 p.m. Friday

Scouting Report: The records may say otherwise, but this is a big game for both teams as each are 1-3 and need a win to create something positive for the second half of the year. Coming off the 50-0 loss to Harper Creek, Marshall will look to get its offense going against Pennfield. The Redhawks were held to 123 total yards overall and seven yards on the ground against the Beavers. Marshall looked to get its passing game going against the Beavers as Austin Miller was 13-of-23 for 116 yards. The Redhawks' Elliott Dodds is a playmaker and had six catches for 41 yards. Pennfield is hoping to get healthy before going on the road. The Panthers' top running back Kaidan Guthrie suffered a hand injury on his third carry of the game last week and did not return. He is questionable for this week. As Pennfield looks for answers on offense, the Panthers could have receiver Isaiah Adams get some snaps at quarterback.

Great Gridder: Danny Wells had nine tackles for Pennfield in a loss to Jackson Northwest.

Athens (0-4) at St. Philip (1-3), 2 p.m. Saturday

Scouting Report : Coming off three straight losses, St. Philip will look to bounce back and get a much-needed win in facing a winless Athens team. Athens has been outscored 205-48 in the first four games, but the Indians have played a brutal schedule with games against state-ranked Climax-Scotts and undefeated Mendon and 4-0 Pittsford. Athens has a strong running game in returning senior Landon Bennett, who had 1,022 yards on 73 carries last year, for an average of 14 yards per carry, with 17 total touchdowns. Able to break open a game at any time, Bennett broke a state record with four punt returns for a touchdown a year ago, while tying the school record with seven touchdowns in a game. It is Homecoming for St. Philip with the Saturday afternoon clash being played at C.W. Post Field.

Great Gridder: Magnus Scriber had 12 tackles for St. Philip in a 40-8 loss to Bellevue.

Bill Broderick can be reached at Follow him on X/Twitter: @billbroderick.

This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: Scouting Report: No. 8 Harper Creek faces Hastings with first place on the line

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